Eight months into a first term rife with the chaos of criminal investigations and high-profile staff shakeups, Trump White House aides are already eyeing their exits.
As the one-year mark approaches, White House employees at all levels of the command chain are reaching out to headhunters, lobbyists and GOP allies for help finding their next jobs, Politico reported.
The reasons for departure are many — morale is low among Trump staffers in an environment with constant leadership changes and pressure from the ever-present Russia investigation.
“There will be an exodus from this administration in January,” one Republican lobbyist, who alone has heard from five officials looking for new jobs, told Politico. “Everyone says, ‘I just need to stay for one year.’ If you leave before a year, it looks like you are acknowledging that you made a mistake.”
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Any new administration sees turnovers, particularly early on in the term, but from resignations to firings, the Trump administration has already seen an unprecedented number of departures.
“There is always a shake-out period at the beginning with a few people not working out,” Anita Dunn, Obama’s former White House communications director and a senior adviser to his presidential campaigns, told Politico. “But typically, you tend to get turnover at the two-year marks like after a mid-term or election.”
Roughly 23 White House staffers have resigned or been fired since Trump took over in January, including some high-profile shakeups like the ousting of Trump’s first chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief adviser Steve Bannon and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci after a short-lived tenure of just 10 days.
But as the chaos and upheaval of the Trump administration has left many eyeing the door, White House staffers also fear the stain of working for such a controversial president could hurt their chances on the open job market.
“Some people are a little nervous that corporations will hold their time in the Trump White House against them, particularly companies like Google or Uber or tech players,” a GOP strategist who has heard from several current staffers told Politico.